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India's first temple in Kerala replaces the elephant used for rituals with a robot

India's first temple in Kerala replaces the elephant used for rituals with a robot

India's first Temple in Kerala Replaces The Elephant Used for Rituals with a Robot


First, a temple in Kerala has built a life-size motorized elephant model to convey processional deities during rites. As part of their commitment to refrain from utilizing live animals for any celebrations, the administration at the Irinjadappilly Sree Krishna Temple in the Thrissur district took the initiative.

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The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India donated the 11-foot-tall "robotic elephant" to the aforementioned temple. It has an iron frame, weighs 800 kg, and is covered in rubber.

The robotic elephant has been given the name "Irinjadappilly Raman," and a ceremony known as "Nadayiruthal"—which includes gifting elephants to the deity in Kerala temples—was also held. Raman was dressed interestingly for the ceremony, in many ways elephants are dressed for festivals.

In relation to this, PETA noted that this model will assist temples in conducting religious rituals in a humane and safe manner, furthering the cause for the rehabilitation of captive elephants.

The mahout (operator) can use a switch to control the robotic elephant's trunk, and it will allegedly be able to carry five people at once. A group of artists in Thrissur who have been providing elephant statues for the Dubai Shopping Festival constructed the robotic elephant.

Rajkumar Namboothiri, a temple priest, added that the administrators of the temple were overjoyed to receive the mechanical elephant in this regard. He added that they are hopeful that other temples will seriously consider the idea and start using robotic elephants in place of real elephants for their rituals.

Namboothiri further said that a family, who used to hire elephants for the festivals in the past, now runs the temple. Yet in recent years, the temple abandoned the custom due to the expensive cost of hiring an elephant and an increase in the number of violent elephant incidents that occurred during festivals.

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The temple authorities, however, met with the artists and requested that they create an elephant monument in accordance with their ideas and revisions after learning that they were creating elephant statues for Dubai (a shopping event). Following that, PETA India, a group that campaigns against animal abuse, stepped in and provided funding. This is how this intriguing concept came to be.